Common Dreams - June 20, 2019
"Given his desire to merely revert the country to pre-Trump days, no wonder Biden keeps saying that a good future can stem from finding common ground with Republicans. But for people who understand the present-day GOP and really want a decent society, Biden’s claims are delusional."
Joe Biden just put a spotlight on his mindset when he explicitly refused to apologize for fondly recalling how the Senate “got things done” with “civility” as he worked alongside some of the leading racist lawmakers of the 20th century. For Biden, the personal is the political; he knows that he’s virtuous, and that should be more than good enough for African Americans, for women, for anyone.
“There’s not a racist bone in my body,” Biden exclaimed Wednesday night, moments after demanding: “Apologize for what?” His deep paternalism surfaced during the angry outburst as he declared: “I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career, period, period, period.”
Biden has been “involved” in civil rights his “whole career” alright. But at some crucial junctures, he was on the wrong side. He teamed up with segregationist senators to oppose busing for school desegregation in the 1970s. And he played a leading role—while pandering to racism with a shameful Senate floor speech—for passage of the infamous 1994 crime bill that fueled mass incarceration.
Such aspects of Biden’s record provide context for his comments this week—praising an era of productive “civility” with the virulent segregationist Dixiecrat Senators Herman Talmadge of Georgia and James Eastland of Mississippi (known as the “Voice of the White South”), who often called black people “an inferior race.”
Said Biden at a New York fundraiser Tuesday night: “Well guess what? At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished.”
To Biden, any assessment of his past conduct that clashes with his high self-regard is unfair; after all, he really means well. On the campaign trail now, his cloying paternalism is as evident as his affinity for wealthy donors.
Biden shuttles between the billionaire class and the working class—funded by the rich while justifying the rich to everyone else. His aspirations are bound up in notions of himself as comforter-in-chief.
“I get it, I get it,” Biden said during his brief and self-adulatory non-apology video in early April to quiet the uproar over his invasive touching of women and girls. He was actually saying: I get it that I need to seem to get it. ...
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